Curtis Samuel’s NFL Draft appeal is obvious, even if his position is not

Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel at Pro Day on Thursday showed once more how much he can do for an NFL franchise.

Samuel, one of the most intriguing playmakers in the 2017 NFL Draft class, whizzed through wide receiver and running back drills in front on nine NFL coaches and representatives from all 32 teams. He made tip-toe catches on the sideline. He zipped through the bags and went outside for a few minutes to catch punts. He did, well, everything.

Samuel said he wanted to come out and show he could contribute at both positions, even if he already did that at Ohio State. Yet he’s still answering the same question — one that makes him the draft’s most curious prospects.

Granted, a major free agent they spoke to on the same day they kneecapped McCloughan, wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, could change all of that immediately if he signs there.

If he doesn’t … well, he has alternatives. For example, teams that pay a lot, run an offense that suits him and don’t wait to kick you where you’re most vulnerable when fortunes head south.
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Ironically, DeSean Jackson left to sign with the Buccaneers with apparently no hard feelings — albeit also with no apparent big push to be re-signed — after getting the boot from Philadelphia two years earlier in similar fashion as McCloughan did. The Eagles did nothing to silence or counter reports right before his 2015 release that he had gang affiliations. Jackson called them out on it directly.

Whether there was anything to the noise late last season that he was open to returning to the Eagles in free agency, he clearly didn’t go back when decision-making time came.

You have to figure Jackson forgave, but didn’t forget it.
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How an unnamed team official dragged McCloughan’s name through the mud Thursday night won’t be forgotten, either.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: Richard Sherman trade talks are dead

If there were any chances Richard Sherman was going to be traded by the Seahawks it would have happened at last month’s NFL Draft. Now that the event has passed, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says the team is ready to win with Sherman leading the defense.

“People can always call you, and there were some people, there were some conversations,” Carroll said Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle. “I don’t think they’re going to change. I don’t think anybody’s going to offer us anything that would make it worthwhile, because there’s no draft involved and all that kind of stuff. But that’s always out there. There’s always opportunities to trade.

“But the likelihood is like zero percent, it seems like. Teams don’t want to give up stuff. They don’t want to trade at times like this, and it’s really hard to navigate through a trade with experienced players during draft time. It just doesn’t happen very often.”

Carroll’s words echo what general manager John Schneider said in April: Sherman will be staying in Seattle, after all. Their relationship however, is still murky. ESPN reported Sherman was the one who initiated trade talks after last season.

“He wants to really recapture the intensity that he’s always brought, and he feels like he can do that,” Carroll said. “He adjusted some two or three years ago. I think it’s time for us to continue to dig into him and make sure that he’s really at the height of his game, intensity-wise.

“That may worry you guys. It doesn’t worry me at all. I love that thought. But also there’s time to make good decisions and good choices in regards to supporting his teammates and his team and all that, and he’s really on point. So I’m excited to see that element in our team this year coming back.”

Sherman, 29, will enter his seventh year in Seattle and is owed $22.4 million over the final two years of his contract.
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Why are the Cubbies resembling their historically mediocre selves?

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Jimmy Key, 1994 strike: Jimmy Key might have one of the better Hall of Fame cases no one talks about, receiving just three votes out of 506 cast in 2004. Something that might have helped his cause: his breakout 1994 season not ending in August when all players went on strike. Had the rest of the season played out, it’s conceivable Key’s league-leading 17 wins would have grown to 20 or 22, enough for him to supplant David Cone for the American League Cy Young Award.

The assumption was the world champs would club their division rivals the same way the Nationals are working over their foes in the East. Instead, the North Siders are 16-15 and a game behind the first-place Reds(!) following a 5-4, 18-inning loss to the Yankees on Sunday night/Monday morning at frigid Wrigley Field. The defeat completed a three-game Bombers sweep.
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Why are the Cubbies resembling their historically mediocre selves? Three things jump out: Their top hitters aside from Kris Bryant are scuffling; the defense has been leaky; and their starting pitchers have not been lights-out. Two of those deficiencies were on display Sunday night.

The concept of piggybacking isn’t new; the Reds, Astros and Yankees briefly tried it in their minor league systems three to four years ago. On the major league level, the Rockies, another pitching-poor franchise, tried it in 2012. Colorado also went to a four-man rotation and imposed a 75-pitch limit on starters. The whole thing lasted from June 19 through the end of the season.

If Green wants feedback about that Rockies experiment, he can ask Chacin and Friedrich about it. Both were in Colorado’s rotation that year.

Differing details emerge in former Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis’ ongoing domestic violence case

Details have emerged in Jourdan Lewis’ domestic violence incident with his girlfriend on March 15.

According to Ann Arbor police records obtained by Land of 10, Lewis’ accuser claims the former Michigan cornerback pushed her, dragged her across the floor and put his hands on her throat in the incident, though he offered a slightly varying account of the altercation.

Limited Mens Nate Stupar Jersey Garver led the AL with 22 complete games in 1950 and posted a league-high 24 complete games a year later.

His 20-win season in 1951 was commemorated by both a special-issue postmark from the U.S. postal service in 1996, on the 45th anniversary of the season, and a plaque issued in 1951 by then-MLB commissioner Ford Frick.

Former Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams once said of Garver, He could throw anything up there and get me out.

A native of Ney, Ohio, Garver played for four teams, compiling a 129-157 record and an ERA of 3.73. Outside of his 20-12 record in 1951, he posted only two winning seasons — going 14-11 for the Detroit Tigers in 1954 and 12-11 for the Kansas City Athletics in 1958. In 330 career starts, Garver posted 153 complete games and 18 shutouts. He finished 40 other games out of the bullpen and had 12 career saves.

Game Mens Connor Cook Jersey Garver, who pitched every game as a high school senior while leading his team to the state tournament, had a remarkably durable arm. From 1950-52, he had a stretch of 49 starts that included 42 complete games.

Garver grew up on a horse farm and returned to farming in Ney once his playing days were over. He and his wife of 52 years, the former Dorothy Sims, had three children. After Dorothy died of leukemia in 1995, Garver married Dolores Hart in 2001.

‘Winter is coming’ to Chase Field with Game of Thrones-themed Taijuan Walker bobblehead

The Diamondbacks are planning on giving their fans a taste of Westeros.

Arizona announced via Twitter that, on July 7, they will host a Game of Thrones night, and hand out a Taijuan Walker/White Walker bobblehead.

Confused? Here’s an image of the bobblehead. I’m not a big Game of Thrones guy myself, but even I admit it’s pretty sweet.

Walker was definitely the Diamondbacks best avenue towards a Game of Thrones-themed pun, although when he was younger, Zack Greinke kind of resembled Joffrey.
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It was a real, human moment from the man whose intense on-field persona had earned the nickname the Mad Hungarian, but who was hit with the reality that baseball is mostly a young man’s game.

Lorenzo Mauldin Limited Jersey Getting the perspective of an expendable player was an unexpected gem, but it showed the value of that mantra of flexibility.

It’s like players making adjustments, Diamond said. We had to be able to have a game plan, but be able to make adjustments as we go because you don’t want to miss that moment.

It also, again, showed the importance of relationships.

Al was one of the players we got closer to as we went though the year, Diamond said. Some of the guys really embraced what we were doing and some 鈥?we didn’t really get pushed away 鈥?but some guys embraced it more. Al was one that really embraced it more.

Even as the documentary crew continued to pursue its timeless behind-the-scenes showcase, the Braves’ roller coaster season kept getting in the way.

If there was ever a time in 1982 when the cooperation between the team and the documentary crew might’ve felt strained, it was during a brutal stretch in August when the team lost 19 of 21 and tumbled out of first place.

Ravens schedule 2017: Baltimore’s fate could rest on another rematch in Pittsburgh

The Ravens will have Joe Flacco play in a knee brace in his second season back from a torn ACL. Feel free to use that as a metaphor for their 2017 season — they’d better brace themselves, because they’ll be scrambling around to some widespread locations to try to redeem their missed opportunity from last season.

They’re taking a chance on a later bye week instead of an early one following their trip to London to face the Jaguars in Week 3. But it makes sense, because in December they travel back to Pittsburgh on a Sunday night, some 50 weeks after their AFC North chances died on Antonio Brown’s stretch for a last-second game-winning touchdown. Avoiding a third straight playoff-less season is paramount.

No matter how good or bad Cincinnati is, they are a headache for the Ravens; they barely survived them at home last November when a loss would have all but killed their season. Traveling to London will be a new experience they need to navigate, especially without the bye following.
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Antonio Gates Kids Jersey The obvious challenge is the Steelers, who were not a full strength when the Ravens beat them at home last season. A huge west coast trip for a tough Raiders game, and later in the month, a quick turnaround, a road game in Minnesota followed by a home Thursday nighter against the Dolphins. The Bears lurk, waiting to be overlooked.

Draft picks: LSU CB Tre’Davious White, East Carolina WR Zay Jones, Temple G/T Dion Dawkins, Boston College LB Matt Milano, Pittsburgh QB Nathan Peterman, Boise State LB Tanner Vallejo

White, Jones and Dawkins will likely to step into starting roles right away at cornerback, wideout and right tackle, respectively. That’s the very good. The rest of the class is meh, led by backup material Peterman. Missing out on a talented tight end also hurts a bit.

Leonard was nowhere to be found on the play.

The Grizzlies came out of a timeout knowing that Leonard would guard Mike Conley, who had killed the Spurs to date. Instead of going back to their star as any team would, the Grizzlies had Conley stand still and pull Leonard with him. They noticed Tony Parker guarding Vince Carter on a mismatch, posted him up and watched Carter get by and feed Zach Randolph for an easy layup.

Meanwhile, Leonard was nowhere to be found on the play. Brilliant work by David Fizdale.

With all those bodies in the way, Lillard and McCollum couldn’t benefit from beating Green off the dribble anyway. Portland went away from the strategy, which freed Green to be his roaming self again. Portland couldn’t craft a lineup without at least one of those three bricklayers, so Green always had a “hiding place” from which to strike. And strike he did, over and over again.

Tension from both parties has led Cleveland to let his contract expire at the end of this season without an extension, and teams will be ready to pounce on the architect of the 2016 NBA Champions, but none will come with more money or a better situation than the L.A. Clippers.

Smith was asked to carry a team when both he and it weren’t ready. Smith also went through a revolving door of offensive coordinators and schemes. When he got comfortable with a good supporting cast, the results were a lot of wins and efficient play.

Rodgers and everyone else knew he would need to wait his turn behind then-future Hall of Famer Brett Favre. It was just surprising it lasted three full seasons, the ultimate patience in grooming a young passer.

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Russell Westbrook’s season ended the same way it happened: with none of us able to look away

Damn near every play Russell Westbrook makes exudes Russ. As much as nostalgia urges us to compare players to the benchmarks that came before them, Westbrook is a special case, a player unique enough to generate flowing ballads and lengthy criticisms alike.

Don’t let yourself be fooled by Kevin Shattenkirk’s game-winning goal in overtime; ask any Capitals fan this morning how they’re doing and then look down. They’ll be back on their heels, ready to run at a moment’s notice while their eyes dart back and forth.

The truth is the Penguins pulled off an incredible comeback in the final two minutes despite losing the best player in the game. This, after a rout in Game 2. Hockey is a game of momentum swings, so maybe the Capitals feel confident after leaving Game 3 with a win. That’s all that matters, after all.

But … man. Everything about that game and how it played out should make you absolutely nervous for the Capitals. Pittsburgh seems unfazed and steeled. We’ve got one heck of a series ahead of us.

The Toronto Raptors, in the interest of ensuring their fans cannot even take a modicum of pleasure in a series-clinching win, gave away a 25-point in the second half as the Bucks took the lead late. (Milwaukee officially completed its comeback by taking the lead on a Jason Terry three. In the year 2017.) Toronto fought back to win the game and the series thanks to a dagger dunk and clutch free throws from DeMar DeRozan. The Raptors will face the Cavaliers beginning Monday.
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Game Youth Hau’oli Kikaha Jersey And hey, the Toronto 905 won the D-League Championship on Thursday! Bruno Cabloco was amazing! Just two more years and he’ll be ready …

Rajon Rondo’s injury is a fractured right thumb and he is out indefinitely

Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely after suffering a fractured right thumb that will not require surgery, the team announced on Friday. He suffered his injury in the second half of Chicago’s Game 2 victory in Boston.

Rondo’s injury has been described as pretty serious, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, and his return may be dependent upon how long Chicago can extend its postseason.
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Xavien Howard Elite Jersey After Chicago lost Game 3 in decisive fashion to Boston, Rondo gave an update on his injury:

Teams double the pick and roll when they’ve decided that they aren’t going to let a particular guy beat them. Kawhi Leonard faced double teams against the Grizzlies. Prime Derrick Rose would get trapped off the pick and roll against LeBron James and the Heat in the playoffs. But the Rockets make this impossible. They play no offensive liabilities. Any double team means a shooter or rim runner is wide open and you are giving up the two most efficient shots in basketball. Even Trevor Ariza, arguably the one player you might bait into making a play, is comfortable attacking off the double team:

This is the most common pick and roll defense in the NBA. Harden’s man will go over the screen while the big man hedges out briefly until the on-ball defender has recovered. But against the Rockets, they’ll run a pick and roll with Ryan Anderson, and the moment Anderson’s man hedges out, Harden will whip a pass to him for three:

This is difficult to guard. LaMarcus Aldridge has good instincts to come out towards Anderson, but it’s too late. If Aldridge aggressively switches onto Anderson, Harden is throwing a lob to the rim for Nene Hilario, Alridge’s man. Against most NBA players, this defense can work as long as weakside defenders rotate to help the helper. But against the Rockets, you can’t leave anybody open.

LaVar Ball snaps back at Nike exec who called him the ‘worst thing’ while grilling chicken on Instagram

LaVar Ball is at it once again. After Nike executive George Raveling said Ball is the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years, Ball responded with an Instagram video that could easily be passed off as a wrestling promo.

So I’m the worst thing to happen in a hundred years? That’s ’cause everybody been in the darkness for a hundred years. But you know how this bothers me? Not at all. Big Baller’s Chicken. Big Baller’s Barbecue. Call it what you want. But George Raveling, you the worst man to be a best man. That’s what I heard. How you gonna go to a guy’s wedding, and then stab him in the back?
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And you say this the worst thing I’m doing is talking and making chicken? But let me tell you something: I know I’m on the right step, ’cause if nothing ain’t happen like this in a hundred years, guess what? We in a new lane, baby. That Big Baller Brand ’bout to be your competition.
Johnathan Cyprien Kids Jersey According to the Washington Post, Ball talking about Raveling being a best man at a wedding is a reference to the Nike executive’s relationship with Sonny Vaccaro, who left Nike for Adidas, and he and Raveling ran rival summer basketball camps in the ¡®90s. It’s a weirdly specific reference that reveals Ball did some research, possibly to get Raveling’s attention and ruffle his feathers.

This is yet another chapter in the LaVar Ball-Nike saga that began with a USA Today interview in which Ball demanded a $1 billion combined contract for three of his sons from whatever sneaker company was interested in them. The Instagram video is also another chapter of all the other outlandish things LaVar Ball has said over the past few months.